Surely one of the more promising young Chicago bands, Young Jesus exists somewhere in the space between the party and the comedown. The band’s debut EP “Late Night Standards,” available for free at whoisyoungjesus.com, is an accomplished toast to booze and delayed responsibility, loneliness and bad timing, like a hangover that hasn't happened yet. (FYI: Young Jesus’ music has no religious connotations.)
The indie rockers seem ripe for discovery by Pitchfork, who'd probably dig the songs that go on longer than expected and in surprising, yet fluid directions. Not bad for a quintet mostly made up of members in the 18-21 range. And they're already growing up with a batch of new songs co-vocalist/guitarist John Rossiter, 21, says are more focused on “where some of those characters ended up. It’s just about growin’ up a little bit and realizing that some of those problems maybe aren’t such a big deal anymore.”
Oh, and if you're wondering about the band name: Rossiter, who credits The National's Matt Berninger and the Hold Steady's Craig Finn as lyrical influences, says it was coined as a joke before he joined the band.
John Rossiter grew up in the north suburbs of Chicago. He started playing music at age 7, taking up violin, and at age 12 he began playing guitar. John spent high school playing in various bands including Milk Shakespeare and playing volleyball, where he met bassist Shawn Nystrand. John dropped out of college to join Shawn and Cody in Young Jesus in 2008. John now studies English at Northwestern University. He is a massive Bulls fan and loves playing basketball. John's favorite band is The National; he cites Matt Berninger as one of his main lyrical influences.
Peter Martin started playing drums at the age of 9, and was a part of multiple rock bands before joining Young Jesus. Peter has a heavy jazz background in drumming. He also plays guitar on the side, allowing him to play a more pivotal role in the song-writing process. Peter graduated from New Trier High School last year, and currently attends Loyola University New Orleans studying Music Business. He is frequently mistaken for popular American actor Josh Hartnett, and is asked to recite lines from Michael Bay’s Pearl Harbor on pretty much a daily basis.
Cody Kellogg was born in Dubuque, Iowa and resided there until the age of 7 when he moved to the northern suburbs of Chicago. Around the age of 10, Cody picked up guitar and began to teach himself how to play. He played in multiple rock bands throughout high school before forming Young Jesus in the spring of 2007 with bassist Shawn Nystrand. Today, Cody works as a host at a Mexican restaurant called Guanajuato and also attends a local community college.
Shawn Nystrand grew up playing guitar in various bands like Fire Engine Red and Blacktop Mourning. Shawn and guitarist Cody Kellogg formed Young Jesus in the spring of 2007, playing only a couple shows and writing music. Shawn only recently started playing bass for Young Jesus, after the original bassist Joe Levand left to start a family. Aside from music, Shawn has worked in the skateboard and snowboard industries for more than six years, working in different shops as well as riding as much as he can. Shawn also enjoys bowling. He currently bowls in several leagues at the local lanes.
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